Timi Hansen, Former Mercyful Fate/King Diamond Bassist, Dies at 61

Mercyful Fate
Fin Costello/Redferns

Mercyful Fate (L to R: Hank Shermann, Michael Denner, King Diamond, Kim Ruzz, Timi Hansen) photographed in London in March 1983.

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich and more have paid tribute to Hansen.

Former Mercyful Fate/King Diamond bass player Timi Hansen has died at age 61. The news was confirmed by Hansen's longtime bandmate, singer King Diamond, in a loving tribute to his longtime musical companion and former roommate. "I just found out that I lost one of my dearest friends, who has been fighting cancer for a long time, in such an incredibly brave way," wrote Diamond (born Kim Petersen).

The Danish bass player was a member of Mercyful Fate from 1981-1985 and again in 1992 before he joined Diamond's eponymous metal project for several years beginning 1985. "He was not just my roommate on the early Mercyful Fate tours, but he was always my favorite bass player of all times," Petersen wrote.

"I was fortunate to have been able to visit him at his apartment with some other good friends, and we had a great afternoon that will never be forgotten. When I last talked to Timi on the phone on October 24th, I could understand that things had gotten tougher than they ever were, and yet he said 'we fight on.' I feel so so sad for his entire family, you have my absolute deepest sympathy. Rest in Peace my dear dear friend."

A spokesperson for Mercyful Fate/King Diamond could not be reached for additional comment at press time.

King Diamond backing vocalist Livia Zita-Bendix posted a note from Hansen describing his battle with cancer in August in which he explained why he wasn't joining the 2020 Mercyful Fate reunion tour. "There are many questions about why I won't appear as part of the Mercyful Fate reunion in 2020. The honest explanation is simply that I am currently fighting a fight against cancer," he wrote.

"But believe me I will fight everything I can to be ready. It's my big dream to be on stage again playing the old Mercyful Fate numbers in front of all of you very loyal fans."

A number of Hansen's metal brethren paid tribute to the finger-picking bassist who appeared on Fate's first two albums, Melissa (1983) and Don't Break The Oath (1984) as well as In the Shadows (1993), in addition to King Diamond's debut, Fatal Portrait (1986) and Abigail (1987).

Among them was Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, who said he was "incredibly saddened" to hear the news about the musician who joined Mercyful Fate for a reunion gig in 2011 during Metallica's 30th anniversary series of shows in San Francisco. "He was not only a close friend of mine and a close friend of the band’s, but he was part of a musical force that helped shape Metallica’s sound, direction & desire to be in a hard rock band," Ulrich wrote.


Incredibly saddened to hear the news of Timi Hansen’s untimely passing.  He was not only a close friend of mine and a close friend of the band’s, but he was part of a musical force that helped shape Metallica’s sound, direction & desire to be in a hard rock band. Timi was of course the OG bass player in Mercyful Fate, who most of you hopefully know have played a significant role in our history. Along with his fellow bandmates, King, Hank, Michael & Kim, they welcomed us to Denmark in 1984 with open arms, let us use their rehearsal studio where we wrote songs for the “Ride the Lightning” album, leant us their equipment, showed us the best of Copenhagen, became our partners in crime....Over the years we enjoyed endless amounts of incredible moments together, including an almost complete reunion at our 30th Anniversary shows at the Fillmore in 2011.  And ultimately, again as most of you know, we recorded 12 minutes of their finest musical moments as the track “Mercyful Fate” on the Garage Inc. album in ’98 and have enjoyed playing that occasionally over the years with various members joining us for their respective parts. Timi Forhelvede man, tak for de fede minder og for de fedeste stunder! Rest In Peace.

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